By Holly Reisem Hanna
I remember the very first time I heard of Pinterest.
I was having coffee with a colleague and she couldn’t stop talking about it and the marketing power it had for small business owners and bloggers. With her enthusiasm and in-depth description of the platform, I was immediately intrigued. In fact, when I went home that morning I promptly created a new user account.
Within a few days of getting my feet wet on the social media platform, I was hooked! Not only did I fall in love with Pinterest for its marketing potential, but I loved it for my own personal use. I was pinning images of awesome beach locales, scrumptious meals, and stylish outfits, as well as information about blogging, working from home, and business. I became obsessed with utilizing and creating better images for my content.
Slowly my followers grew as well my traffic from the social network. And one year later I had amassed a following of 700 followers, not too bad. I was also receiving a decent amount of traffic from the site – I was content.
But then I saw a pin for this e-book: Pinterest Savvy: How I Got 1 MIllion Followers by Melissa Taylor.
Wow, a million followers?!
Needless to say, I purchased Melissa’s e-book. I devoured the information in one night and immediately hashed out a plan for my Pinterest marketing strategy. In just three short months, I was able to increase my followers to well over 5,000 and I significantly increased my traffic from Pinterest. In fact, my Pinterest traffic beats out both my Facebook and Twitter traffic combined!
Still not sure about the hype? Check out these stats.
- Pinterest is the 4th largest traffic driver worldwide. [Source: Techcrunch]
- Not only is Pinterest sending tons of traffic to websites, but Pinterest users spend twice as much as Facebook users. [Source: FastCompany]
- Pinterest has Google benefits. Pinterest boards tend to rank well in Google search. [Source: Dustin TV]
- 62% of brands have the Pinterest “Pin It” buttons on their product pages of their websites, and it is the most used button. That officially puts them in the first place compared to 61% having the Tweet buttons and 59% of brands having the Facebook Like buttons. 42% of brands have the Google+ button all according to a study done by 8th Bridge, after analyzing 872 retailers.
- The average Facebook post lasts 3 hours. The average tweet lasts for 18 minutes according to data from Moz. Pinterest Pins can last for months and even years. [Source: Lisa Buben]
So do you want to tap into the power of Pinterest? Follow these Pinterest tips to get started.
1. Diversify Your Boards
This was the very first strategy that I implemented. When I first started out I had approximately 15 boards. While this worked fine for me personally, it didn’t help me market my business, here’s why. When an individual performs a search on Pinterest, they are looking for the most relevant pins, quickly. Say a person is searching for a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe. If you have your dessert pins, grouped in with your food pins (as I did), the gluten-free chocolate cake recipe mostly likely will NOT be found.
So that you’re more readily found, think like a search engine and diversify your boards accordingly. For example, if you’re a direct sales consultant selling clothing, don’t just use the standard issued labels that Pinterest boards come with (Fashion, Style). Instead create boards that reflect what people would be searching for such as Summer Whites, Denim, or Fall Boots. The more diversified your boards are, the more likely that you’ll be found in search results, and the more likely that you’ll be followed and repinned.
2. Strategically Create Your Boards
When you create your account, Pinterest will suggest some pre-labeled boards for you to start out with such as Fashion, Food, and Travel. While these are an okay place to start, you’re not going to capture anyone’s attention with these classifications. Just like content marketing or blogging — if you don’t have a catchy title to grab the reader’s attention, you can kiss the click through to your site goodbye. Create boards with fun, unique, and keyword rich titles. By doing this you’ll grab people’s attention, as well as you’ll easily be found in search results.
Once you’ve created your boards, you’ll then be able to choose a cover image, as well as you’ll be able to arrange the location of the boards. To make your boards more appealing, choose a high-quality cover image (pin) that represents the board’s content well. And if you can choose an image (pin) that’s from your website or blog to feature as the cover image that’s even better, since these will be the first viewed images on your profile. When arranging your boards, make sure to put the boards that have the majority of your content at the top, again these will be the most visible boards on your profile.
3. Create Pinterest-Friendly Images
When I first started blogging, I used reused a lot of stock images on my blog, so that I could save money. But as Pinterest became popular, I decided I needed to use a better strategy that would maximize my efforts, so I purchased a new image for each post. While this method was a lot better than recycling images, it still didn’t maximize my Pinterest involvement.
If you’re going to invest the time on Pinterest — you need to create the best images possible. If you’re taking your own photos, you should invest in a good camera and learn the ins and outs of photography. In fact, there are many bloggers who share their photography wisdom for free, try looking at the Pioneer Woman’s photography blog. Same is true for stock images — you’ll need to invest some money for high-quality photos, I personally use Deposit Photos.
Once you have your high-resolution image, you’ll need to take it a step further by creating an image that sends a clear message. To do this, you can use a free resource called PicMonkey or Canva — these platforms allow you to add titles, borders, overlays, effects and much more. To get the most bang for your buck, you should orient your image in a vertical position (portrait style). In fact, according to Curlate, images with an aspect ratio of 2:3 and 4:5 get 60% more repins.
4. Setup a Pinterest Business Account
When Pinterest first came on the scene back in 2011 — it only allowed for one type of account, but as Pinterest grew in popularity, it expanded its brand by adding business pages to the mix. While business pages don’t look any different from personal pages, they do offer a couple of unique features that bloggers should definitely take advantage of.
If you’re already setup with a personal account, it’s super easy to convert. Simply go to this link and follow the prompts — it takes just a few minutes.
Once you have your business account set up, there are two features that you need to utilize. One is your Pinterest analytics which will tell you what your most popular pins are, how many clicks they receive, as well as overall reach and impressions. The other cool feature that business accounts have is the ability to enable Rich Pins, which includes additional information about the pinned image automatically. To enable Rich Pins, simply follow the process listed on the Pinterest website.
5. Craft Clear Descriptions
When you create your Pinterest account, make sure that your profile, pins, and boards all have clear descriptions along with targeted keywords. Having these in place will help maximize your efforts by making it easier for individuals to find your pins and boards via Pinterest search. Because Pinterest is popping up in so many of Google’s search results, it’s important that you’re utilizing long-tail keywords on your pins and boards.
6. Verify Your Pinterest Account
Get more followers by adding a layer of trust and professionalism to your Pinterest account by verifying your blog. To do this simply go to your settings and click on “verify website.” Next, you’ll be prompted to download your unique HTML verification file. Once you have this upload it to your server, then go back to Pinterest and verify your website. Confused? Take the easy route and download the Pinterest Verify Meta Tag Plugin through WordPress.
7. It Is About The Numbers
What to grow your Pinterest following?
“A Pinterest study from the University of Minnesota gathered more than 3 million pins and collected data on more than 45,000 users to come to some conclusions on how to grow your followers and what categories are most important. The study took into consideration 38 different factors that may attract an audience on Pinterest. The three most important factors in getting more followers.” [Source: Buffer]
- The number of users you follow
- The number of pins you have
- The number of boards you have
So basically, if you want more followers you need to diversify your boards, pin a lot, and follow other pinners in your niche.
8. Get Educated
From the moment I decided Pinterest was going to be my main social media focus — I started learning everything that I could about the platform. While you can get lots of free information online, I HIGHLY suggest these two e-books, as they have helped my own Pinterest strategy tenfold.
The first is Pinterest Savvy: How I Got 1 Million Followers by Melissa Taylor (currently, she has 1.3 million followers) of Imagination Soup. You can purchase Melissa’s e-book for $4.97.
The second book is How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) by Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less. This e-book sells for $7.99, and it is worth every single penny! If you want to blog for money or increase your Pinterest influence, this is the guide for you. Not only does Ruth give a realistic view on what it takes to make it as a monetized blogger, but she shares solid knowledge for maximizing your revenue and marketing strategies. Many of the tips were new to me, which is always refreshing.
9. Join and Create Group Boards
When I first started using Pinterest, I received an invite to a group board. Not really knowing what it was about, I joined. Soon after that spammy pins flooded my feed – I quickly removed myself from the group board. It wasn’t until I read Melissa’s e-book that I finally understood the powerful and positive impact that group boards could have.
But first, a word of caution … When creating a shared board or accepting an invite, I suggest keeping it small and restricted to individuals that you know fairly well. You don’t want questionable or spammy pins floating through your stream. Another tip is to make sure that the board is well defined, for instance, I have one for work-at-home bloggers and another for making money with your blog – pretty straightforward what the appropriate topics (pins) are for this board. Some boards will even have predetermined rules in place at the top of the description.
Now the good part. When you create a shared board, you’ll invite other Pinterest users to pin items to that board. Once you have your shared board, each time a member of that board pins an image, it goes out to all of the member’s followers. And when someone new follows all of your boards, they also follow the group board which exponentially increases your reach.
So there you have it — nine simple Pinterest tips to boost your blog traffic and earnings!
Are you using Pinterest for marketing your blog? What other Pinterest tips do you have?
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